Thursday, January 03, 2008

Christmas 2007

So Christmas has come and gone – what did I get up to in the last two weeks. Firstly, just before Christmas I got my new training toy. A PowerTap SL – it's basically a powermeter that is built into the rear hub of your bicycles wheel and tells you how much power you are putting out. I've put in 9 rides on it so far and I'm fascinated with the resultant information. With my technical background and love for sports physiology in general, I had a nice few hours around Christmas figuring out what things meant. I now know what it's like to put out 380 Watts for 20 minutes (mostly pain) and to do a 1000Watt+ sprint (again, mostly pain). All very interesting but the thing that got me most was how variable the power you put out is... A little of puff of wind and you cruising at 250Watts has you up at 350Watts! Stand up out of the pedals and your putting out 500Watts. I guess it will teach me a lot about pacing myself. My handle bars are getting a bit cluttered though with my Garmin Edge and the PowerTap readout...

The readout from one of my Spins with 3 * 30 minute tempo sessions

The Gizmo itself

Busy handlebars

For 9 days around Christmas I decided to stay in Monaghan – it was great having the whole family around and there was never really a dull moment. It also made a cycling change as riding around Monaghan (undulating terrain – mostly flat though) is very different from the spins I usually do around the Wicklow Mountains. Mel and I then had a very quiet New Years Eve, followed by our now traditional hike on New Years Day somewhere in the Wicklow Mountains. This time we walked around Lough Bray in pretty crap (wet/muddy) conditions. Hot Chocolate in Enniskerry made up for the cold weather though :)

Eva and Orla on Christmas morning

Conditions looked good at the start of the hike

But they got pretty crappy by the end

There are a couple of pictures from Christmas here.

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